The University today launched the PublicHealth@Cambridge Research Network in order to draw together expertise in all aspects of population health across the arts, humanities, social and physical sciences, technology and biomedicine.
Researchers from across the University’s six schools and associated key partners will be connected across traditional barriers to catalyse new interactions and ways of thinking and enable a truly multidisciplinary approach to the challenges affecting population health.
Public health issues comprise some of the biggest global challenges of our time. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the main challenges facing public health in the twenty-first century include, economic crisis; widening inequalities; ageing population; increasing levels of chronic disease; migration and urbanization; and environmental damage and climate change. And a recent study has found that Britain has fallen behind many Western countries on progress in managing preventable diseases. Five killer diseases – heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung and liver disease – account for more than 150,000 deaths a year among under-75s in England and the Department of Health estimates 30,000 of these are entirely avoidable.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, said: “Each of us is aware that average life expectancy has increased dramatically through the 20th century. We are all beneficiaries of a greater understanding of public health. Faced with the health challenges of tomorrow – diabetes, cardiovascular disease – it is vital that we put public health, and all the disciplines that support it, at the heart of Cambridge’s contribution. This is one of the most important ways that ideas developed in Cambridge can change the world for us all.”